(BANGLADESH) JUST IN: A massive fire has swept through a crowded river ferry in southern Bangladesh, leaving at least 39 dead and 72 injured #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.24: Police officer Khalilur Rahman said all 72 of the injured passengers were admitted to hospital, with seven of them in critical condition with severe burns.

#AceDailyNews says according to Associated Press News Report: The ferry was overcrowded, carrying 800 passengers from the capital Dhaka to Barguna, when the blaze broke out on Friday.

Posted 1h ago, updated 33m ago

A burnt ferry is anchored on the shore
The overcrowded ferry was carrying 800 passengers when the blaze broke out. (AP)

The rescue mission was ongoing and the number of casualties was likely to rise, firefighter Fazlul Haque said.

Terrified passengers, including Anisur Rahman, jumped off the vessel and swam to shore.

“I was sleeping on the deck and woke up hearing screams and a loud noise,” Mr Rahman said.

“To my utter shock, I saw thick smoke coming out from the back of the ferry.

“I jumped into the freezing water of the river in the thick fog like many other passengers and swam to the riverbank.”

Firefighter Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan, who led the rescue operation, said the fire might have started in the engine room.

He said 15 fire engines took nearly two hours to control the blaze.

The government set up two committees to investigate the fire and ordered them to report their findings in three days.

Ferry accidents are common and are often blamed on overcrowding and lax rules in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by about 130 rivers.

Ferries are a leading means of transportation, especially in the southern and north-eastern regions.

In August, a passenger boat sank after colliding with a cargo vessel, leaving at least 22 dead.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Dec.24: 2021:

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#bangladesh, #disaster, #ferry, #fire